Education Ministry is failing, students need immediate redress

LIVID over the Education Ministry’s (MoE) poor action in improving the home-based teaching and learning (PDPR) following multiple lockdowns and protecting teachers’ from COVID-19, an Opposition leader accused its minister Datuk Radzi Jidin and his two deputies of failing in their duties.

“Teachers were supposed to be vaccinated under Phase 2 of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme (PICK) but how many of them got inoculated? Only about 70,000 out of 400,000 teachers nationwide.

“Budget 2021 also promised about 35,000 new job opportunities, which includes hiring nurses, welfare officers and temporary teachers. So, how many temporary teachers were hired so far? Until today, we don’t know,” former Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching told FocusM.

Yesterday, the Pakatan Harapan Education Committee urged MoE to step up and prepare Form 5 students accordingly so that they will be well equipped to sit for the SPM and SPMV examinations later.

“The ministry’s failure to manage SPM/SPMV 2020 has caused tremendous amount of mental and physical stress to our students, teachers and parents. This has been reported extensively by the media.

“Unfortunately, our minister and his two deputies chose to ignore their agony, which was not surprising actually.

“But we cannot allow such failure to repeat itself this year. If it happens again, it only shows that the Government has failed our future generation,” it was reported saying.

In a virtual talk yesterday, Radzi set tongues wagging after he announced that only 12,887 out of the 150,000 laptops promised to the B40 students last year had been delivered so far.

He added that another 40,290 will be channelled to students by June 12, with the balance of 96,823 devices expected to be delivered by September, despite students already on PDPR now.

“As we had stated, the devices will be delivered as soon as possible. We had to adopt a slightly different approach due to challenging circumstances, such as supply issue, but we finally managed to start distributing the devices,” Malaysiakini reported the minister saying.

Pull up your socks, MoE

Unimpressed with Radzi’s statement, Teo said it was baffling that the Government could not send out the 150,000 laptops on time to deserving students despite much of the schooling now is done online.

“Frankly speaking, I don’t know why the delay happened. Perhaps the donations came in late? Yayasan Hasanah relies on donations and contributions from government-linked companies (GLC) to operate.

“When Yayasan Hasanah was appointed to execute the project, the intention was to hasten the procurement procedure. Nevertheless, the distribution of laptops is extremely slow,” she opined.

Adding that the 150,000 laptops itself was inadequate, Teo said student from the B40 community were severely affected by the delay, with 37% of them not having suitable devices to support online learning.

“Yet, MoE cannot ensure that the laptops are delivered timely and efficiently to deserving students,” the Kulai MP retorted.

Teo added: “And what is Radzi doing on allegations of ‘period spot checks’ being done in boarding schools?

“All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) already received 82 complaints on the matter. Is our minister going to insist on not receiving a single report?” – June 7, 2021

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